The Cotton Board Holds Annual Meeting and Approves Cotton Incorporated’s 2024 $89 Million Budget

News from the Cotton Research and Promotion Program

Oklahoma Cotton Producer, Mark Nichols, to Serve as Chairman of the Board & USDA Under Secretary Moffitt Addresses Boards During General Session

(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) – The Cotton Board recently held its 2023 Annual Meeting in Durham, North Carolina, along with Cotton Incorporated’s Board of Directors. During this meeting, board members serving the Cotton Research and Promotion Program reviewed, analyzed, and voted to recommend Cotton Incorporated’s 2024 budget of $89 million to the Secretary of Agriculture. This budget recommendation reflects a $2 million increase from 2023.

Addressing both Boards during the meeting’s General Session, Cotton Incorporated President and CEO Berrye Worsham said, “The 2024 Cotton Incorporated plan and budget remain focused on addressing several key industry issues to increase cotton’s market share and ensure long-term profitability. Key priorities include enhancing supply chain transparency and cotton’s traceability, increasing producer profitability, enhancing cottonseed’s value, addressing contamination issues, and using marketing to build demand for cotton.” For a full recap of Worsham’s commentary on the 2024 plan and budget, please view the recording of his August 15th Cotton & Coffee episode here.

Jenny Lester Moffitt, the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture, attended the meeting and addressed the Boards during the General Session. “One of the best parts of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program is that your decisions are informed by what’s happening in the field. The members of the boards that make up your Program represent the voices from your communities,” she said.

During its Business Session, The Cotton Board elected a new slate of officers to serve one-year terms, including Mark Nichols, a cotton producer from Altus, Oklahoma, to serve as Chairman of the Board. Mark Nichols is the President of Jess Mark Nichols Farms, Inc. and President of Hess Farms, Inc., a fourth generation farm he has managed since 1980. He farms with his brother-in-law, son, and son-in-law, growing irrigated cotton, wheat, and milo.

Nichols commented on his new role, “I am honored to serve as Chairman. During the upcoming year, we will continue to work closely with Cotton Incorporated to ensure our industry is moving forward and leading the way to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton.”

The full slate of Cotton Board officers is as follows:

Mark Nichols, Producer from Altus, Oklahoma, Chairman
Akiko Inui, Importer from New York City, New York, Vice Chairman
Matt Famer, Producer from Lamesa, Texas, Secretary
Rusty Darby, Producer from Chester, South Carolina, Treasurer


Contact: Stacey Gorman, Director of Communications (870) 226-1445

About The Cotton Board: The Cotton Research & Promotion Act established the Cotton Board as a quasi-governmental, non-profit entity to serve as the administrator of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. Funded by America’s cotton producers and importers through the cotton check-off, the Program’s research and promotion activities are conducted worldwide by Cotton Incorporated, the Cotton Board’s sole-source contracting organization, to increase the demand for and improve the market position of cotton. The Cotton Research & Promotion Program continues to work in all areas of cotton’s pipeline – from the field to the consumer – to keep cotton the number one fiber choice in the U.S. For more information about the Cotton Board and the innovative activities stemming from the Program, visit

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